Stay tuned for news on the arrival of repair.com in your area
VIDEO: Dishwasher not cleaning
Improper use and poor maintenance may result in a dishwasher not cleaning as it should. Follow these video tips to maximize the cleaning power of your machine and enjoy sparkling dishes once again
If your dishes come out grimy, your dishwasher may not be to blame—it may be you! Proper usage is the only way to get your dishwasher turning out spotless dishes.
Hi, I'm Paul Blake for Repair.com with tips to help you maximize your dishwasher's cleaning power.
Tip No. 1: Reorganize your dishwasher keeping size, spacing and position in mind
For best results, reorganize your dishes keeping size, position and spacing in mind. Tuck large platters and cookware along the back and sides of the bottom rack.
Next, slide each plate into its own slot in the same rack, facing inward and downward. Secure utensils in the basket and make sure they do not nestle together.
Now, organize the top rack. Load cups, glasses and bowls. Glasses should sit between tines, not on them. The bowls should be angled, but not stacked.
If you have more dirty dishes you want to load, don't. Save them for the next cycle to avoid overloading dishes in a way that will negatively affect cleaning.
Tip No. 2: Check the spray arms for any blockage or damage
The dishwasher spray arms must be able to spin freely and spray water to clean effectively. Check for blocked, clogged or damaged spray arms.
Spin the spray arms with your hand to see which tall or slipping utensils get in the way. Clear any obstructions from the spray arms.
Tip No. 3: Consult your dishwasher manual for model-specific instructions
To clean clogged spray arms, unplug the dishwasher, empty it, pull out the dish racks and remove the spray arms. Soak the spray arms in a sink full of water mixed with soap and a cup of vinegar.
After soaking, use an old toothbrush to loosen stubborn debris, and tweezers to remove larger pieces from the holes. Soak the spray arms in straight vinegar to loosen mineral deposits. Dry and reinstall your cleaned spray arms.
If you cannot clear the clogs, or if the spray arms appear damaged, you can buy new spray arms for little money.
Tip No 4: Add dishwasher aids to enchance performance
Sometimes, dishwasher detergent needs help. Hard water contains high mineral content that leaves limescale deposits and hinders the soap's ability to dissolve grime. Add dishwasher salt to the designated compartment to soften the water. Never use regular table salt, as this can damage your machine.
Adding rinse aid can also reveal dryer, cleaner-looking dishes and glasses; it prevents water spots and streaks by allowing water to sheet off. Use detergent separately from rinse aid rather than an all-in-one product to be able to control the amount of rinse aid you need.
Tip No. 5: Dial up the rinse aid for streaks; dial down for blue or white film
Dial up the rinse aid if you see streaks and dial it down if you see blue or white film on your glasses.
Of course, making the effort to clean your dishwasher once a month with vinegar and citric acid will also benefit your dishes. After all, only clean dishwashers can clean properly.
For more tips or to find a qualified service professional to help you, visit us at Repair.com.
Check out our related troubleshooting guide for more advice about fixing a dishwasher that's not cleaning correctly.
Special thanks to Michael & Son Services.
✓ Reviewed and approved by a Repair.com expert.